“The Straw Hats Step In! An Uproarious Deadly Battle at the Execution Ground!”
With Sanji and Zoro having started fighting back against the clan here, it’s welcome to get some action that helps to further clarify sides at this pint and just to see both of them excel at what they do best after years of honing their skills. There’s some good stuff to this as they protect Yasuie’s body and the child as well and that it gets down to some crazy swordplay out of Zoro with some of the stronger opponents out there, like Kyoshiro. The further the fight goes along the more we see, which has some comical moments from how Sanji handles himself, but we also thankfully get everyone else stepping up, from Robin to Usopp to Nami and Frankie. It’s been a long, long, time since we’ve seen them all getting out there like this and while it’s brief overall it’s just incredibly welcome to have them standing together amid the chaos like that.
A good chunk of the second half is spent with Luffy in the work prison thing and that’s just dull as molasses by comparison, unfortunately. They’re mostly still just trying to keep him out of the picture so others can lea the way and so that he doesn’t just overpower things – though the Straw Hats, in general, are pretty powerful so it’s a foolish thing – but it leads to a nice flashback for Luffy that shows some of the promises made way back when about going into the New World, and how one of those he’s now dealing with may be “what remains” of one of them. It touches a bit more on jaggy’s loss than anything else but it feels like there’s finally some form of connection to latch onto with meaning within this arc that’s finally starting to shift what it intends to be about.
Zoro and Sanji start fighting against Orochi’s clan. Nami and the rest of the Straw Hats join them. Meanwhile, at the Excavation Labor Camp, a new criminal, Hitokiri Kamazo, has arrived. And someone else who is brought to the site reveals the shocking truth about Kamazo.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!